Maui County Mayor-elect Richard Bissen has announced the names of more people he wants to lead government departments, including the person tapped as planning director.

Maui County locator map

In new releases this week, Bissen’s transition team outlined who he wants to head four more departments: environmental management, planning, transportation and water supply. All of his director appointments must be confirmed by the Maui County Council.

The mayor-elect has picked Kathleen Aoki, a former director of the Department of Planning, to steer the department once again. She’s worked for the county for two decades in “nearly every division of the planning department,” according to the news release.

A photograph of the county building in Wailuku.
Bissen is scheduled to be sworn in as Maui County’s next mayor on Monday. Marina Riker/Civil Beat/2022

For the Department of Water Supply, Bissen has chosen John Stufflebean to serve as director and James “Kimo” Landgraf as deputy director. Stufflebean has more than 40 years of experience working with local governments, including 24 years serving as a department director overseeing drinking water systems, efforts to recycle water, stormwater management and watershed protection, according to a news release. He currently works as a Maui-based consultant for Baker Tilly, a firm that specializes in working with local governments.

Meanwhile, Landgraf has worked in the water industry for over 30 years, which includes 17 years within Maui County’s water department, according to a release.

For the Department of Environmental Management, Bissen is choosing Shayne Agawa, a longtime county employee, to serve as the director tasked with overseeing the county’s waste management responsibilities. In the past, Agawa has served as the deputy director of that department and also as the deputy director of the Department of Water Supply, according to a release.

Bissen is asking Marc Takamori, the current head of the Transportation Department, to continue with his work managing how people get around in Maui County. He served as the deputy director for seven years until he was hired as the director in 2019, according to a release.

The mayor-elect’s inauguration is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday in the Castle Theater at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Doors open to the public at 4 p.m.

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by grants from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation and the Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation.

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